From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject IRC (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject IRC, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Internet Relay Chat on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Computing (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Computing, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of computers, computing, and information technology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Technology (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Technology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of technology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.

Untitled comments[edit]

Since virtually all of the material in this article is disputed by Angeles on the basis that it was provided by me, I've removed the disputed material. This left a discussion of GNAA attacks on freenode, which by itself does not seem to be NPOV.

From what I can tell, Angeles' main objection to the historical material is that it's provided by me, and that it is somehow inappropriate for me to provide such material. I can tell you that this is the same material provided to LWN and published on the freenode website, but while I believe that Angeles is biased, on the basis of his public writings, against me and against freenode, I'm sensitive to his observations. However, since I'm the only person who has been involved with freenode since its beginnings as a small GNU/Linux support channel on EFNet, no one else has stepped up to provide information and, as a result, I suspect that this article should be left as a stub.

However, I'm not an active Wikipedia participant, and Angeles has already questioned my reliability, so I leave it to whoever is able to provide material that Wikipedia will consider more appropriate to insert that material. 02:12, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Addendum: for policy justification, see WP:IAR. 02:19, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

To clarify, the changes to this page and to the actual article from IP were my changes.

Rob Levin 02:28, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

This IMHO should be more aggressively pushed as a comm channel

/join #wikipedia

agreed - it's beyond stupid to not mention the wikipedia channels on freenode Snottily 21:59, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

If you're going to mention Wikipedia, then you'll probably want to also mention some of the other big projects that have channels on freenode. --CCFreak2K 00:22, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

look out for WP:SELF Pimlottc 21:36, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

The discussion of this page has included insinuations that controversial material has been omitted. Is there properly-attributed material that needs to be added? If so, please add it and let's move on. The suggestion has been advanced that edits I made evidence a conflict of interest. Who cares? Add material or remove it as appropriate, again making sure that any material that's retained has proper citation and attribution. Is there unverifiable material? The insinuation has been made by Angeles that this is the case. If so, remove the material. Is the article in neutral point of view? Stressing GNAA trolling incidents in the article suggests that they are one of the most important things about freenode, which doesn't sound very NPOV to me.

The principal editor in all of this has been Angeles, whose neutral point of view is highly suspect (reference his [blog article of April 26]. I believe leaving the article as-is, with big warnings that it's "questionable," serves only to satisfy a personal agenda. Is this appropriate?

Please, just get it fixed.

--Rob Levin 01:01, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

I don't believe anything I had written was from a non-WP:NPOV neutral point of view. I respect freenode's vision, and merely attempted to use citable references on the history of the network. My personal opinions of any particular person does not affect my morality, or the way I edit an article when I see something that needs fixing. From the last time I edited this page, alot of citations have been removed and the page has been totally torn apart, making the two nights of work I put into cleaning up the article and citing references a waste of my time. Sorry for trying to be objective. Angeles 14:58, 9 December 2006 (UTC)


It looks like a lot of effort has been put in to keep any hint of controversy out of this page. To my mind, this is unfair to people wishing to find an ircnet to host their projects etc who refer to this wiki for information. I'd like to see some work put in to present the various controversies surrounding PDPC, lilo, spinhome, etc. in a balanced way, or at least some assurance that decent presentations of same will not be deleted simply because the page maintainers don't like it. I'm usually in #f-s if you want to chat about this. Mike Ely 05:30, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

We write about controversy everywhere else, why not here? There's certainly a lot of well documented stuff about donations being used to pay Rob Levin's student loans, as well as huge security flaws and limitations in their outdated irc software (and that's just what's been admitted by freenode staff, you should try talking to the ex-staff) -- Someone else

So write it (and cite it, as usual, following WP:VERIFY, WP:CITE, and WP:RS). Wikipedia doesn't really have "maintainers", except a pool of editors such as yourself. If there's something missing, write it. If it's removed without a good rationale...then you have a valid complaint, and Wikipedia does have many ways to resolve such issues. Do you have specific examples of edits aimed at supressing such info? DMacks 03:24, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, we need to write about some of the dark sides of freenode. The blocking of mibbit was very controversial, and should be mentioned. I vote YES for a criticism section. (talk)

Freenode hacked into woodchips...[edit]

I cleaned up the section about the attack and added info about last night's meeting. I don't have any citations to support the 1000 users number, but I was there and observed the number myself. Actually, I suspect the number may have been upwards of 1500 or 2000, but I stopped keeping track when the meeting began. -- Zarvok | Talk 08:34, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

It's definitely NOT the GNAA or bantown that did it, although they'd both love to claim responsibility. Especially not GNAA, all the talent left that organization over a year ago. -- Somebody

From what I've seen it's most likely bantown, no one I've spoken to who has a clue thinks it was GNAA. I've spoken to the user said to have committed the attack and he said he was bantown (and knew a hell of a lot about the attack). -- Anonymous

Something is wrong in the history section[edit]

"he started a small Linux support channel called #linuxneo on the EFnet IRC network." "It then moved from Undernet to DALnet"

He started the channel on EFnet and then moved it from Undernet to DALnet. Could someone who knows the real history correct this please.

Because thats incorrect. He didn't start a channel at all. He didn't like the chanops of #linpeople and the other surrounding channels on EFNet, and started his own network to get away from them. Undernet and DALnet never factored in here. I refuse to edit this article as Rob Levin, in his overly paranoid ways, will see this as some sort of "social engineering attack" (as he puts it) and change it back. However, I was a regular user of #linpeople at this time, and it never moved to other networks. It went straight from EFNet to his own server. Diablo-D3 08:20, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
The above statement by Diablo-D3 is unverified and untrue. The only way I know to verify who started #linpeople (it was in fact me) is to ask Pauline Middelink, who is one of the people I consulted with when I first thought about ramping up #linuxneo, the first incarnation of #linpeople on EFNet. I'm perfectly happy with Wikipedia leaving out unconfirmed information, in which category the above statement by Diablo-D3 certainly may be counted. Rob Levin 04:55, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Policy Concerns[edit]


In agreement with the previous section, the history in this article is sketchy and unverified. According to Rob Levin's User Page he was editing anonymously until the 1st of July 2005, the contribution history shows some serious edits by him to this article. While the information is straight from the founder of the network, there are no cited references from reliable/published sources, which I think could be a violation of WP:VERIFY. Information must be reliable, not merely truth or accepted fact.

At the time I consulted with Wikipedia people on #wikipedia on freenode. I mention this not to validate the information I provided without logging in, but only to make sure it's understood that I've asked Wikipedia participants before adding anything to articles which have historically been edited most extensively for trolling purposes.
My assumption at the time was that active Wikipedia contributors would simply decide the validity of the material and either remove it or add references. Rob Levin 05:00, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Neutral Point of View[edit]

In relation to the above reference to anonymous contributions; As the supposed founder of this network, I feel much more reliable historical references could have been provided, instead of a tiny blurb about himself and a (very) brief description of what took place when it was founded. I think some of the edits made during this period could be deemed questionable, if not outright self-promotion (even if done in an ad-hoc way of providing useful information), as far as WP:NPOV is concerned.

Since I'm not an active Wikipedia contributor, my only interest in contributing to this article was to provide minimal information where it was lacking, in a form which could then be amended to meet Wikipedia standards. If you want to take the time to put in more information, or to remove information which you feel is lacking in reliable attribution, please do, though you may want to pass that task on to someone whose personal public writings on the subject of the article better exhibit neutral point-of-view than do yours. Rob Levin 05:14, 1 September 2006 (UTC)


A quick search reveals a few references still online or archived, such as the LISC Online Support Document Archived at, as well as mailing list, online magazine, and archived promotional material, most dating back to the original conception (LISC) that lead to the birth of freenode.

Any of the above material could have been searched and cited at any time for historical information.

Angeles 08:34, 18 August 2006 (UTC)


Angeles 09:26, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

After perusing guidelines regarding Self References I have decided to leave the information currently present intact, and have left warning messages up which may need to be edited. It is in my opinion that one is not to post to articles content regarding themselves because it is a conflict of interest.

It's also worth suggesting that when a Wikipedia contributor has published public articles relating to the subject of a wikipedia article, which are clearly not neutral in their point of view, that contributor should consider whether it makes sense, given the goals of Wikipedia, that they edit the article. Your blog article of April 26 provides an excellent case in point. Rob Levin 05:31, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

I will begin adding references to the citations I have found, and will endeavour to find some more to pad-out some of the history section. Who knows, I may learn something in the process :)

Angeles 10:13, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

References to LISC and linpeople have been added, and transcribed the already written analogy of the transtition between EFnet, Undernet, and DALnet; although I am not too happy with the unverifiable nature of the first part of Paragraph 2, it ws already contained in the document and should be subject to review before removing, altering, or leaving the statement.

Some bits may need re-wording (my eyes are starting to burn with wiki-overload) and there's still a bit more to add, but this makes a good start I think.

Top Channels data[edit]

What kind of data was used for the ranking and what do the numbers represent? Average messages/hour over a week? Average number of users joined? Bytecount? DMacks 04:36, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing... Is it the average? It can't be the number at any point in time, as that's always changing... Daniel15 (Talk/Contribs) 01:44, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Precaution semiprotect[edit]

I semiprotected the article just in case, because the latest fad seems to be inducing large amounts of vandalism on the articles of the recently deceased (and Rob Levin just died). I can imagine a swarm of GNAAers beating the crap out of this article, so let's just try this. —this is messedrocker (talk) 21:35, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

The source for the death announcement was from a global message by freenode staffer christel in IRC. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 21:36, 16 September 2006 (UTC)


The paragraph on "social engineering" isn't very clear. The grammar should be cleaned up and specific examples provided.

The "April Fools Joke" should be explained in detail as well.

Freenode user statistics?[edit]


How many user/day per month and over the years are actually using freenode? Can someone add this info to the article?

regards, 08:31, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

You have to follow the reference #4 to find several statistics about it.
-- skiidoo 01:41, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

The numbers of users and channels is way out of date there are more than 25k channels now. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:12, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Suggested sources[edit]

These can be used to clean up the article/clear the {{primary sources}} and {{notability}} flags:

  • [1] Australian print source about Levin's death.
  • [2] The Register article about sale of OpenProjects domains
  • [3] The Inquirer article about nickserv hack
  • [4] Cursory mention from Indian print source

Please do not remove the flags until they are resolved. I'll try to help tomorrow or Monday, if noone else has time, but I haven't time to deal with it further today. MrZaiustalk 11:07, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Done. MrZaiustalk 16:59, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Not listed on mIRC[edit]

The by far most popular IRC client, mIRC has a server/networks list a mile long, but Freenode is not included in it. Is there a known explanation for this? __meco (talk) 03:26, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Well, the old one at has it (updated Jan '07!?), unless chat.freenode has been disabled; and tries and fails to link to the current servers.ini file, so maybe the official, up-to-date file is nowhere to be found outside of the installation package. b0at (talk) 04:52, 15 April 2008 (UTC)


Do you have holsters for the 380 Bryco 9mm? if not were can I get one side holster?

Jim Everroad cwo3007e —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cwo3007e (talkcontribs) 20:17, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Removed section on controversy[edit]

Please see IRS guidelines. The IRS allows tax-free donations to such charities, as long as no individual or contributor benefits from the NET proceeds. A salary for the CEO or head of the organisation would be more than appropriate. CEOs of large corporations make millions in salaries, and heads of many charities are paid salaries in six figures. Further, phrases such "close friends say..." and "it is reported..." should only be used if a reliable reference is cited.

Websterwebfoot (talk) 19:21, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Just because it all checked out in the end, doesn't mean that it didn't cause controversy. I call bullshit. (talk),,id=96099,00.html —Preceding unsigned comment added by Websterwebfoot (talkcontribs) 18:57, 19 October 2008 (UTC) Websterwebfoot (talk) 19:26, 19 October 2008 (UTC) Websterwebfoot (talk) 19:29, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

It would be great if freenode would release their IRS statements publicly in order to support your claim. miranda 01:25, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Mibbit bans[edit]

It would be nice if more information could be posted about the mibbit bans

something is really wrong with freenode, and it is not about there views on mibbit it is not a network about freedom but a network about manipulating people with mental illnesses but i see nothing regarding this

i should know there is more to this, i was one of the people who were banned i am not too good with editing wikipedia pages, if anyone wants to talk to me about it, i hang out on as stevecam

--Steve (talk) 15:52, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

The official statement by a Freenode staff member was announced on their network blog. While there were numerous reasons for the ban, it ultimately came down to the ability to prevent abuse via the client. They allow connections from many types of web gateways, and such connections require a certain amount of trust and communication between the server operators and the gateway operators. While they tried to maintain a good working relationship with anyone who wishes to provide access to Freenode and are lucky that most of the users and projects are very friendly and communicative, they found it difficult to maintain open communication with Mibbit. This resulted in a large amount of staff time being spent on managing abuse coming from Mibbit, disrupting service for other Mibbit users and reducing the quality of the network. Steffan (talk) 17:18, 1 January 2010 (UTC)


This article has the hack thingie where it’s all lowercase, and that makes sense, but the <title> of the freenode page itself renders it Freenode. Does, then, the {{lowercase}} template belong here? —Wiki Wikardo 23:14, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Ideally yes. I did notice that on {{lowercase}} it states that articles such as eBay and iPod use {{lowercase}} to solve the same issue as this article has. The title however does render to freenode shown here: <title>freenode - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia</title>. Steffan (talk) 17:00, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
No, I mean —Wiki Wikardo 07:34, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

I think it should be "Freenode", not "freenode".

Article titles follow standard English text formatting in the case of trademarks, unless the trademarked spelling is demonstrably the most common usage in sources independent of the owner of the trademark. Items in full or partial uppercase (such as Invader ZIM) should have standard capitalization (Invader Zim); however, if the name is ambiguous, and one meaning is usually capitalized, this is one possible method of disambiguation.

Exceptions include article titles with the first letter lowercase and the second letter uppercase, such as iPod and eBay. For these, see the technical restrictions guideline.

--Joshua Issac (talk) 16:20, 5 August 2012 (UTC)


Looks like there has been some information creep. The sourcing is weak; regardless, the detail about the founder's death is beyond the scope of an article about freenode (IMHO). //Blaxthos ( t / c ) 20:39, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Concur, Rob Levin has his own article. However, the history section should mention him more specifically, given his apparently key role in founding (or popularizing, or organizing, or whatever), rather than just being the admin-on-duty when a certain hacking occurred. DMacks (talk) 21:30, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Cross-site scripting/spam attack[edit]

I removed the whole section because it contained a tiny bit of cited factual material (some of which wasn't even correct) among a ton of uncited claims of responsibility and related off-topic content. WP is not a soapbox or rumor-mill, or for coatracking about a non-notable organization. DMacks (talk) 21:33, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Everything in the section was cited. Which parts in particular weren't correct? --Razakel19 (talk) 22:37, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
At a quick glance, Freenode's blog reports the incident well before January 30 (by 17th, was already several days visible).[5] No WP:RS for who caused it (self-published claims of responsibility are not WP:RS, their manifesto is WP:UNDUE for this incident). In fact the only thing that was cited was that it happened via a cross-site javascript link exploit that generated spam of itself, and that it led to disruption and apparently excessive klines. DMacks (talk) 22:50, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Non-notable per usual standards[edit]

I'm moving the following two sections here for discussion if anyone objects to my removing them.


On December 15, 2009 users saw wallop messages by Christel and other staff members making the users aware of a DDoS attack[1] , which caused some IRC servers to netsplit. Freenode staff have not released any more information on the event.


Mibbit ban

On June 19, 2009 Freenode announced that access through the popular mibbit IRC-to-web gateway was now disabled due to "numerous reasons", but ultimately decided to block abuse as "Freenode staff were spending 10 times more time on mibbit abuse [(including ban evading)] than any other source",[2] while putting its own web chat in place.[3][4][5][6] This prompted a large range of comments also on freenode's own blog entry with users objecting to freenode's new web chat lacking features in comparison to mibbit.[7]

Mibbit developer axod states that he believes the 'abuse' reason "is a red herring" and that "their [Freenode's] own web client is less secure than mibbit in terms of preventing abuse."[8] Freenode insist that the disproportionate amount of time their staff needed to stop abuse through mibbit and that they "chose a solution that fixed those two problems - using staff time and disrupting our 50k users - whilst giving the mibbit users an alternative."[9]

Although I can see that this might be relevant and interesting to Wikipedia editors who use this network actively, as well as other regular users of this IRC network, I think this level of detail into the internal life of an IRC network is inconsistent with the limitations we enforce on other articles, as for instance TOTSE, which also have been pruned because of similar very localized information, using only self-referential or blog references. __meco (talk) 22:34, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

I would support a sentence about mibbit being blocked (if it's true). But I would rewrite to note first that Freenode does make a web-portal available (it's one of the services offered by this organization). And as a secondary fact that they also disallow a certain third-party web-portal. That way the fact is still included, but in the context of something clearly relevant as opposed to a stand-alone section that seems to have WP:UNDUE issues. DMacks (talk) 22:56, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
I should also mention that you just previous to my edit also removed[6] a large chunk from the article on similar grounds as my edit. I wasn't aware of this when I removed the above quoted sections. __meco (talk) 23:17, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
I put the Mibbit section onto the IRC-Wiki. -- (talk) 00:34, 5 May 2013 (UTC) (Havvy)

Proposed merger from Peer-Directed Projects Center[edit]

The organization that manages the Freenode network is not notable in itself. No other project listed at likely has significant notability. Therefore, I believe that that article should exist only as a section of this one. PleaseStand (talk) 03:45, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

  • Support per nom. Freenode seems quite notable, but PDPC seems to be nothing citable (and maybe nothing in fact?) except the parent thereof at this time. The only thing I can think of is the IRC software development, but I can't find anything to support its notability either except that "it's what freenode uses". DMacks (talk) 03:59, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong Support you beat me to it. :P LiteralKa (talk) 15:29, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
  • sounds ok, meager support --Buridan (talk) 23:54, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support The nominator says it well. MJ94 (talk) 20:37, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
I just did this. Mythpage88 (talk) 01:03, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Rob Levin[edit]

If Peer-Directed Projects Center is being considered for a merge into this article, I think Rob Levin should be as well. While that article has somehow survived 4 AFDs, he's still not really independently notable, and could perfectly well be covered as a subsection of this article. (In fact, that article contains very little information that isn't in this one already.) Robofish (talk) 23:41, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Strong Support: I've been pushing for this for a while now. LiteralKa (talk) 00:17, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Support Like the nominator said, Rob Levin isn't independently notable and could fit well into this article. MJ94 (talk) 21:02, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
Meagre Support. To show my thought process: "I would like not to confuse personalities and organisations. Just because he apparently, from reports, had trouble running PDPC and went a bit haywire, doesn t mean he s not a worthy subject. ...On rethinking, I ve changed to just supporting this, as altho he was a participant in the internet technology paradigm shift, his influence on it was via freenode/ the PDPC, so they should be amalgamated.

Good luck getting it done tho.Jabberwoch (talk) 22:22, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

I see that both the discussions have support for a merger, but given that no one has volunteered to merge since the last year, I am taking the liberty to remove the notifications from the top of the pages. Any participant is free to initiate the merger whenever appropriate. — Nearly Headless Nick {c} 09:28, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
I just did this. Mythpage88 (talk) 00:56, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Excessive, incorrect, yes, spammy tagging[edit]

The duplication of tags both inside and outside <ref></ref>, and simultaneous use of a top template was addressed at the WP:3O discussion at Talk:MIRC#Misuse_of_tags. I have reverted most of these as unnecessary. Non-controversial and trivial claims about software features can certainly be WP:PRIMARY sourced. This is not a case of "anybody can publish" - it is a long-established organization which has a duty to document itself accurately, else it would have no userbase whatsoever. I have also reverted the removal of a primary source claimed in edit summary to be "redundant" - primary sources are not "redundant", they are helpful, and may be necessary, but are not necessarily sufficient. --Lexein (talk) 05:42, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

The Register[edit]

The Register (UK) has these four pieces mentioning Freenode:

--Lexein (talk) 06:25, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

Are you going to do anything with these, or just do a drive-by source dump? Mythpage88 (talk) 07:05, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Observe: it's a talk page about improving an article, and since some sources are of worse quality than others, sometimes folks chat about them. These are here for discussion, because at least the first one is extremely biased. If used, there should be attribution in the prose, because it's definitely not Wikipedia saying this stuff.
The last one cites a pseudonym we all know, with no confirmation of who it really is. --Lexein (talk) 13:31, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
I re-added the (very old) section about the interprotocol attack, when it was removed, only the register had covered it. Since then, it has received international attention, resulting in clear, direct attribution to GNAA. With that in mind, I have re-added it to the page. Mythpage88 (talk) 00:50, 31 August 2012 (UTC)